Israel has outlined a long-term plan to handle its worst confrontation in decades, the country has acknowledged it expects a “three-phase” war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israeli parliamentarians were informed by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant that the IDF anticipates using airstrikes and ground movements to launch its three-phase campaign. The Israeli force then intends to go on to defeating isolated Hamas fighter resistance, reports Times of Israel. After this is done, Israel’s “responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip” would end, according to Gallant. Israel had previously warned Gazans to leave the nation “immediately.”
The committee members listened as Gallant described the war’s three key phases. In order to defeat and destroy Hamas, Gallant added, “we are in the first phase, where a military campaign is taking place with [airstrikes] and later with a [ground] manoeuvre with the purpose of destroying operatives and damaging infrastructure. He said the second phase will be continued fighting but at a lower intensity as troops work to “eliminate pockets of resistance.”
“The third step will be the creation of a new security regime in the Gaza Strip, the removal of Israel’s responsibility for day-to-day life in the Gaza Strip, and the creation of a new security reality for the citizens of Israel and the residents of the [area surrounding Gaza],” he said.
Currently, Israel maintains control over almost all of Gaza’s land and maritime borders and supplies much of the Strip’s infrastructure, including water and power. Egypt, which has control over Gaza’s southern border and sees Hamas as a danger to its own security and stability, backs Israel’s siege. Since Israel and Hamas started fighting, Israel has cut off supplies to Gaza and so far has not permitted the entry of humanitarian goods.
Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to Russia Alexander Ben Zvi told TASS that Israel has made the decision to launch a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. “I will say that the decision has been made. This decision has to do with achieving our goals, which we have already talked about. This is the destruction of all Hamas terrorist organizations and the release of hostages. And so, this cannot be done without a ground operation, among other things. Therefore, we can say that the decision has been made,” the diplomat said